Thursday, August 21, 2014

Kiev does quick U-turn over claims of Russian troops in #Ukraine

Kiev does quick U-turn over claims of Russian troops in #Ukraine

Andriy Lysenko, spokesperson for the Ukrainian Council of National Security and Defense, during a press briefing in Kiev.
Andriy Lysenko, spokesperson for the Ukrainian Council of National Security and Defense, during a press briefing in Kiev.

Britain's Daily Mail newspaper today reported that the Ukrainian government has issued a denial that Russian troops had moved into conflict-torn Ukraine, as claimed by one of its generals. The denial suggests either that the original claim was a "crude propaganda move", says the daily, or that the authorities in Kiev are in a state of disarray.

Lieutenant-General Igor Voronchenko, head of the Ukrainian Anti-Terrorist Operation, claimed that Russian troops had moved into the south-eastern city of Lugansk, which Kiev's forces have been trying to seize back from pro-independence rebels.

"There are tanks, Grad artillery, APCs, accompanied by about 1,200 men dressed in the army uniform of Russian Federation," he was quoted as saying.

However, there was no supporting comment from NATO or any other western source, and Kiev's National Security and Defence Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko dismissed the allegation as "strange", adding that "Intelligence is not confirming the existence of this column."

The newspaper said in its report that the rebuttal suggested the invasion claim amounted to "a crude propaganda move by the pro-Western Kiev government - or deep confusion in its own ranks." 
"Politically motivated disinformation"

Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian foreign ministry, had previously spoken of a separate 'invasion' claim in the British media to Voice of Russia, saying it looked like "politically motivated disinformation."

"There was an article published in, to my mind, a very responsible British newspaper, The Guardian," she said. "According to their correspondent, the military intervention of Russia into Ukraine happened. It was a real statement. It wasn't a question. It was a real statement. But, unfortunately, there were no quotes proving this information from the Russian side or from the Ukrainian side. 
"Russia immediately dismissed this information saying that there weren't any military vehicles entering Ukraine. But we heard nothing from the Ukrainian side. And that was very strange, because if your country is subject to another country's aggression, you should immediately make a statement saying that foreign troops or foreign military vehicles entered your country."

"At the same time, in London, the Russian Ambassdor Mr Yakovenko was invited to the Foreign Office, where the Foreign Office representative also quoted the Guardian article actually accusing Russia of intervention into Ukraine. Mr Yakovenko is a very experienced diplomat who knows the foreign media, and especially The Guardian, very well. He dismissed all these accusations saying that Russia has already dismissed this information.

"So, that story is very strange. It looked like a blockbuster but not like real life, when some newspaper publishes unproven information, and officials use this information, which is based on no evidence at all, to accuse another country of something.

"This is not professional. It looks like politically motivated disinformation."
(VoR)
Kiev, Ukraine, New

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